Friday, June 22, 2007

ALOHA!


I am leaving for vacation soon, and won't be back until mid-July. I will miss all of you!

~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Smile



~Picture via Cute Overload

Happy Solstice!


Summer Solstice is celebrated here in the Pacific Northwest. Yesterday was the longest day of the year. Here is a lovely Solstice poem by Milton of Don't Eat Alone. Beautiful. Simply beautiful!

For knock-your-socks-off photography to celebrate the day, visit Liz' Be Present Be Here.

~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Rate Your Blog

Go to "What's My Blog Rated?" to rate your blog or other favorite blogs in the blogosphere.

happyluau is rated:

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating

~via Mingle2 - Online Dating

Originally found in Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei's blog "Eye on DNA"

Getting a "G" Rating surprises and pleases me, since I have discussed some mature subjects here, and used words like "clitoris" in my title.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Around the Blogosphere Today


More inspiration from Lulu's Good Thoughts. This blog should get way more attention than it's receiving. Love it!

Check out this great video of "500 years of female portraits in Western art condensed in a three minute morphing video"---pretty creative. This is via Jennifer Louden's LoudenMouth. It's a great meditation on oneness, too.

And Brad Schorr can always be counted on for a great post. The word for today was aplomb, a word that Hubbie used yesterday to describe the way he put the fresh trashbag in the trashcan---and it was completely appropriate.

If you want to keep up with your teens, check out The Urban Dictionary. Today the word of the day was "email bankruptcy", which is "When you are so inundated with email, both genuine email and spam, that you have to delete everything and start over again".

Dr. Mercola writes a spiritual post on types of pride, differentiating between "authentic pride" and "hubristic pride". Good distinction.

Now...back to my company :)

~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Occasion to Apologize

I took the opportunity today to make some courtesy calls to repair some relationships in the business community today, relationships that had been fractured by someone who had worked for us and who had represented us in dealings with other businesses. I am of the opinion that it makes sense to always treat people well, no matter who they are or what they do for or with you. Being kind, respectful, and honest is always in order. I didn't feel like I could leave on vacation without handling the repair of these relationships in a responsible way.

So I called and apologized on this person's behalf (since we had hired them) for the way in which interactions were handled. The response was universally the same; each person was appreciative and thanked me. It made me feel so good to have things settled and to have apologized; even though it had not been us (me and Hubbie) who had been directly responsible, we were indirectly totally responsible because we had hired this individual.

It feels sooo good to clean up messes. It also feels really good to take responsibility when it's yours. It really, really feels good to treat people as they deserve to be treated---kindly, and with gratitude for their contributions. It makes you...well---me, feel good about life.



~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'd Forgotten

I'd forgotten:

How good it feels to be known, understood, and loved simply for who you are.

How much fun it is to have a long history together.

How family has little to do with blood and everything to do with love.

How happy the "path of no-drama" is...after weeks of high drama. This phrase borrowed from Carla Blazek.

How special Hubbie really, truly is. I forget and remember this lots of times, but I'm remembering it especially hugely today.



Yes, how good it feels to be known, understood, and loved simply for who you are. (It bears repeating.)


~Picture by Nephew Extraordinaire Daryl

A House Full of Company and This Trip


As of yesterday, I have company! So I may be blogging a little less.

I've saved for three years to take some of my friends to Maui for my 50th birthday. I am also taking Hubbie. It is the first time he has been "taken" anywhere, although he has provided vacations to others (including me) throughout his life in his position as "main wage earner". So it is a big huge deal for me, especially to be able to take him. I'm not sure he still as yet believes that it is really happenning, and that I've actually done it :) I have a history of years of being underemployed, and of having difficulty earning money. However, this is all changing (!) and this trip is the first step. It is hard to really express how big a deal it is for me, and for my belief in my self and in my abilities to actually be able to do this.

This trip as I originally conceived it started out with several special friends coming with me. Over the three years of saving and preparation, my friendships changed (some of them very long term), and basically, I lost some friends who I'd planned would come with me. This trip ended up being sort of a sorting or sifting process. I thought this was very hard at the time of each loss, but now that this trip is here, it feels absolutely perfect. This will not only be a time of fun, but a deeply spiritual time, and a time of personal growth for all of us. I am learning that everything always works out perfectly for our learning and growth, whether we recognize it or not.

Anyway, I'm sooo excited. More soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! Today I am missing my dad, the first Father's Day without him (he died a few months ago), but he's with us in spirit---We Love You, Dad!



And a Happy Father's Day to Hubbie, who will get to be with our daughter this Father's Day. All of our children are adults, but rarely get to see their dad, so it is very special for us both.



I also felt moved to wish my estranged bio-dad a Happy Father's Day and to tell him I love him, which I do. I emailed him since I don't have his phone number. I doubt I'll hear back, but it felt good to do. I hope that all of you fathers and all of you who have fathers have a wonderful time celebrating, even if it is just in extending peaceful and loving thoughts.

Aloha,

Olivia

~Picture of Dad by Hubbie Mark
~Picture of Hubbie Mark by Me

Saturday, June 16, 2007

If You Missed It

If you missed the Not To Be Missed Moment, you can revisit it here, and see an update, with another Paul Potts performance. This is all over the Internet, and worth the time. Hubbie and I keep on watching it again...and again...and again :)



~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Top Thousand

Today I earned my badge for being one of the "Top 1000 Reviewers" on Amazon. I've been working on this for 10 years. I'm currently tied with Newt Gingrich. :) It just means that I've helped a lot of people make buying decisions on products at Amazon. I buy pretty much everything from Amazon, and love to write reviews, especially for books, movies, and teas (I've written 990 reviews so far). I was trying to earn it before my 50th birthday, and I made it! I do it just because I love to.

~Picture by Me

Friday, June 15, 2007

My Garden

Here are some pictures of my garden. All this is the work of our creative and very artistic garden angel Angela, and Hubbie. It was originally designed by my friend D.






~All pictures by Me except for the Foxgloves by Hubbie Mark

Not to Be Missed Moment

I don't live under a rock, so I've heard of American Idol (SEE CORRECTION BELOW!), but I've never watched it before. Then I found this 4:10 video via Brother Rick. It made me cry. Then I watched it again. And I don't even like this type of music. It was seeing the heart and soul of the singer that touched me. So touching. Oh, my goodness! Love it, love it, love it:



Thank you, Hsein, for pointing out that this is not from American Idol, but from Britain's Got Talent. I appreciate it the correction, Hsein. I am completely unfamiliar with this show as well, obviously :)

Update 6-16-07: This is for you, Hubbie: see more of Paul Potts here.

Blogging Stuff

Great post on RSS from Brad at Word Sell. I am not too technically minded, and don't understand the ins and outs of RSS, but I do know how disappointed I am when someone doesn't have a feed. I probably won't have the time or remember to come back and visit. Anyway, this is a great list for learning more about RSS.

I also found this today: 50 Signs You're a Blogaholic. Egads, I am one; are you?



~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Creativity, Reaching a Live Operator, I Got My Hair Colored!

A reminder about creativity today from nakedpastor. Finding Water people, are we being creative?

And a great post from Jessica on How to Reach a Live Operator. When I need to reach a live operator I usually talk jibberish into the phone. Actually, sometimes I yell jibberish into the phone and this relieves the tension of having to listen to an automated voice cycle through her endless list of options.

Also on Jessica's blog is the link to the gethuman database, a list of 500 businesses and how to reach humans there. Whoa, is this useful or what?

Lastly for today, I got my hair colored---it had finally grown out enough. What do you think?

Before:




After:



You like?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Seasons Come to Me


"My life is fruitful and abundant. Just as the earth has its cycles and seasons, so, too, our own lives have times of planting, times of growth and times of harvest. So much of my frustration comes from my refusal to accept life's seasons as they come to me. An adolescent child enters a period of rebellion. This is necessary to full maturation. A project at the midpoint is sprawling and unwieldy. This, too, is necessary. A marriage enters a time of solo growth and trajectories as each partner pursues independent interests. However unsettling, this, too, is healthy. Not all seasons lie serene in the sun, yet each has its place. As I ask to be attuned to life's cycles, I feel my anxiety slipping away. I rest in the faith that all is unfolding according to right timing. I am where I should be when I should be. I am alert to the good of every moment...Today, I accept divine timing. I allow the pacing of the Universe to be my own. I align myself with the tempo of my life precisely as it is unfolding."---Julia Cameron, in "Transitions: Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life"

I am in a season of transition. The only way to get through without anxiety taking over is to trust that this is a season for me to learn many things, and that the Universe is benevolent and in control.

I have been in a challenging situation at work. My challenge right now is to decide to trust my and Hubbie's values and principles and act upon them...or...to give in to fear and greed. I have always been fearful---Hannah Hurnard's "Much Afraid" as I've gone through life. However, I've never thought of myself as a greedy person---ever---and yet here when I am faced with something monetarily important to me (our livelihood) it is "a dilemma" to me to act in a way that would be crystal clear if it involved anything or anyone else. Hubbie has more courage than I do here. He doesn't do the principles versus money thing (because he is so strongly principled), and for that I admire him. So I did the struggle thing, and of course, of course, come out on the side of principle. But because of the struggle, and because it's hard, I'd expect better from myself. I sort of surprised myself and have learned a lot.

So (and here's my self-talk for the day), I relax today, and let life's cycles take over, without trying to manage and control them. I allow things to unfold as they will. I let it be easy. I trust the Universe and I trust Hubbie. I keep myself open to the good that will come my way if I will just allow instead of trying to force. I trust in the fruitfulness and abundance of life.

~Picture by Hubbie Mark, who would rather see this iris right-side up than sideways. I love it sideways more.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fun Around the Blogosphere

Today I thought I'd just feature fun things I found while I was out and about:

First is a video call from The Wife (from Brother Rick):



Wife Call - video powered by Metacafe


Second, I found four cuter-than-cute pictures I've been wanting to share from Cute Overload:

This first is a cute doggie, which you can find here on Cute Overload:



The second is a baby sting ray can-you-believe-it right here? (Again, from Cute Overload!)



The third is a funny fish here from Cute Overload:



And the fourth is a precious kittie cat here from Cute Overload:



If you want to see pictures every day that make you smile, subscribe to Cute Overload. They are consistently cute!

Third, if you love words, do you know about The Urban Dictionary? It's great for any popular expression or acronym, to understand hip-hop songs, or to decipher popular teenage dialect.

Fourth, from Luxist, here are two things to buy if you have $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket and you are totally nuts. One and two. I read Luxist because I like to see what people spend their money on.

Fifth, another reminder about one of my favorite blogs because the writing always moves me deeply---Don't Eat Alone---no matter what the author writes about. I don't know what I'd do if Milton ever stopped writing! The blog's subtitle is "Thoughts on Food, Faith, Family & Friends", but it's really just about life itself, and the joy and sadness of being alive. Today it's on "What God Sounds Like"---read this even if you don't believe in God, or rather, especially if you don't believe in God.

Have a happy and peaceful filled with love and miracles!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Trusting Life...And Valuing Each Step


"Disappointment, without anger, is the mark of an old soul.

Not being disappointed, Olivia, is the mark of a really old soul.

And trusting life so thoroughly that every step on its path is valued more than where it was supposed to take you, is the mark of eternal youth."---TUT message today


This quote was SO for me today. I had a huge disappointment and I was angry yesterday. I worked through a lot of it over several hours. Well, actually about nineteen agonizing hours, some of which I slept and most of which I had a f***ing migraine but who's counting? So today this quote really spoke to me. Trusting life. So thoroughly. That every step on its path is valued. That is my goal.

I was able to transform my anger into closer to a peacefulness and acceptance of disappointment. When I'm off guard, I still venture into anger...and then, slowly, remembering, b-r-i-n-g myself back to what I know. I do trust life. I can handle disappointment. Everything is a lesson in the School of Life. Each person is a gift to teach me something very important....and then I'm back to peace. My committment is to peace. The Universe is looking out for me...and always has peace readily available for me should I simply choose it. But trust is the key to how I choose it.

The anger comes and goes and each time I choose peace and trust. It's all I can do, but it's enough.

Ok, now I feel better. Thanks for listening :)

~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Savoring the Moment


"It is so easy to miss the beauty that awaits us in the here and now...We must pause to catch the moment and savor our delight. Savoring the moment is a learned art, and it is an art that must be practiced to be perfected."
---Julia Cameron, in "Finding Water"

I was greatly encouraged by Julia Cameron writing this. I'd thought I was doomed to just being a completely unobservant person who lives in my head and has great trouble being present in the now. It is my great delight to think that this ability can actually be cultivated; it is not a character trait but a skill---yea!



~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Courage


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the decision that something else is more important.”---Ambrose Redmoon


~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Midlife


"At midlife more than at any other time, we have a renewed opportunity to reinvent ourselves and fuel our lives from Spirit."---Christiane Northrup, via daily inspiration

This is so, so true. At midlife, it is a time to celebrate. If you're not at midlife, look forward to it, and plan for it to be a time of re-creation!

~Picture from Hubbie Mark

This Day


"Nothing is worth more than this day."---Johann Wolfgang Goethe




~Picture from the Cloud Appreciation Society

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Limbo Times


"Happiness is a by-product of right living. Right action leads us to right thinking. In some seasons, we are able to act decisively in directions that please us and feel hapiness as a result. At other times, life is less linear and more variable. Happiness is more elusive as we experience events and timing beyond our control. Among life's vivid seaons, there are also times of a more muffled love, periods of muted mood and ambivalent, even ambiguous feelings. These are the limbo times, the gray days that fall in between. These are the transitional times when I am not what I was nor am yet what I am becoming. In limbo times, I must live with alert attention to my feelings of vulnerability. I must guard against hasty choices and rushed decisions. In limbo times I must learn to simply be. Soon enough life will move me onward...Today I practice the action of loving non-action. I allow my life to alter organically and without unnatural haste. I trust the tempo of my unfolding."--Julia Cameron in "Inspirations: Meditations from The Artist's Way"


~Picture by Hubbie Mark

Saturday, June 2, 2007

A Walk On My Driveway In Pictures

Since I've hurt my knees, I've had to walk on flat surfaces. Thus, I've been walking up and down my driveway, which is 1/4 mile round trip. I end up walking about 5 miles a day there, but spread out over the whole day. Here are some pictures from my walk yesterday, and ending with a few from tonight. I hope they load quickly...and of course, that you enjoy them. I've been impressed with people's photoblogs of their trips. Even though I haven't gone anywhere, my driveway is pretty special, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Here I am starting out:




Below is a yew tree that is hundreds of years old. They are apparently somewhat rare and "symbolic of sadness", according to Wikipedia. We have two that I know of on our property. It does look a little sad, but lovely, doesn't it?



Now this is how my driveway curves---back and forth---leisurely and beautifully.




Towards the end there is a small scenic field bordered by tall trees.




Sometimes the trees are dead, but they still stand tall and can eventually become "snags" for wildlife to inhabit. This tree is not yet a snag, but it's definitely on its way out. I still like how it looks.




This is one of my favorite trees. I think it's a maple. D will know and tell me :) I have two views of it, because it's just so gorgeous:





I'm almost back at the house. Here is our graveyard for our beloved pet chickens who have died: Henny Penny, Harriet, Harriet 2, Ebony, Angelina, and Clementine.




Here is the same driveway this evening. I love how the light shines through the trees. It's a long band that cuts across the driveway,




and through the field,




Here are two closeups of the band of light from the setting sun:





And here I am positioned right in the center of the light band with my back to the setting sun. I like the effect of the long shadow. I did this on purpose:




I hope you enjoyed the walk. Not as glamorous as some trips, but in its own way, spectacular.


~Pictures by Me with My Newly Found Camera